continuous feedback

Changing Demographics of Performance Management

Off late we have been a witness to a lot of transformations and how technology has been at the epicentre of those disruptive transformations and HR has not been oblivious to it.

The keywords for survival and competitive advantages today are decentralized decision making and the need for speed, both of which necessitates and triggers the need to improve coaching and guidance for improving employee engagement levels. This requirement is justified when viewed from the context that the average voluntary employee turnover is happening in the chunks of the medium performers & if this is coupled  with the speed in decision making it makes it  paramount and difficult to ignore in a global economy.

While nothing may have changed from an organizations expectations w.r.t their employees owning-up responsibilities for their productivity and the organizations performance, however, when factoring the employee turnover component into the organizations people sub-system changes the overall equation of an organizations environment.

While a lot may have changed in the way organizations operate, there has also been an impact on the average employee tenure from 10 to 5 years and the graph is further in the downtrend making talent retention the most volatile subject for discussion among the HR team. While few of the industry segments may not perceive this as a problem yet because jobs keep multiplying but they would soon be exposed to the financial and non-financial cost associated with the employee turnover.  Well, why will they not be, no segment can remain immune: when there is a direct connection to an organizations’ investment in its employees, recruitment, on boarding, training etc., and the non-financial factors like knowledge, competitiveness etc. This is a serious issue and organizations have to address the challenges of employee turnover to lessen its impact on cost and productivity.

So what may be the probable solutions to address the employee turnover issue?

Inspire and build a strong work culture

People seek meaning in whatever they do, they would like to know the “Why” for every action.  The answer to “Why” provides a feeling that the effort is worthwhile and improves employee response enhancing the possibility of successful outcome which drives workplace satisfaction and inspires employee loyalty and encourage them to stay longer.

Create a workplace that drives values

People feel connected when they feel they are valued,  collaborative working relationships exist, creativity & innovation is encouraged, efforts appreciated, service beyond expectations rewarded and opportunities for learning & personal growth exists.

Job Security

Over the years there has been a significant difference in the perception of Job Security. Gone are the days when employees viewed their job as their career and retired with a “group photo” to feel nostalgic and a thank you for your trust in us and years of contribution note engraved on a “memento”. This change may be strongly connected to the flat organization structures prevalent today, which inhibits creation of long-term employee career strategies. This also indirectly encourages poaching higher salaries and vertical growth which employees leverage to fulfil their eagerness to learn as-much-as possible, even if it’s going to be from more than one organization.

While all the 3 points mentioned above are strongly connected (the factors indirectly referenced) sounds meaningful and convincing to influence employee tenure. Translating them into practice may be time consuming with embedded constraints. However, the issue of “how to get the new joiners to speed” requires to be addressed on war footing at an era of rampant recruitments and also quickly integrate these new joiners with the business process to optimize their availability and improving productivity. Enterprise size organizations like Adobe,  Deloitte, GE, TCS, Wipro,  Infosys, etc., were quick to realise that annual performance reviews may not be useful to address this concern and the need of the hour is “Continuous Feedback”.

Continuous Feedback – Brief informal ongoing & continuous interactions, is the best way  to quickly inspire and win the commitment of an employee. It provides the best way to demonstrate work place collaboration, encouragement and improve competitiveness. It helps to immediately appreciate efforts and recognize exceptional performance instantly. They help best to coach and mentor employees which improves their participation, approach to work, make informed decisions and deliver successful outcomes. All the aforementioned leads to improved workplace satisfaction and hopefully may also significantly improve the average employee tenure, the rest is gravy.

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